Saint Mochua or Cuan

(about 6th cent)


[Commemorated in the ancient Irish Martyrologies on the nth April; probably as being the day of his translation. But he died on Jan 1st. The life of S. Mochua, in the Bollandists, is legendary, and is full of the wildest fable.]

Saint Mochua was the son of a certain Cronan, of noble race, and spent his youth in fighting. At the age of thirty, he laid aside his arms, and burnt a house, with all its contents, which had been given to him by his uncle, saying that a servant of Christ should take nothing from sinners. Then he settled at a spot called Teach Mochua. He is said to have healed St. Finnan, or Munnu, of leprosy, and when St. Finnan was about to return home, and his horse broke its leg, St. Mochua summoned a stag out of the forest to come and draw the vehicle, in place of the horse. In his time, the first stone church was erected in Ireland by St. Kieran, and during the building of the church, there fell no rain to impede the masons, for the clouds were stayed by the prayers of St. Mochua. He is said to have founded thirty churches. To assist in drawing wood from the forest to build these churches, Mochua called to his aid twelve stags, which served as patiently and obediently as oxen. And when his virtues drew to him many people and much praise, the old man fled from place to place, for he considered that the glory of this world would turn his heart from the glory of the world to come. And when very aged, he escaped with his oratory bell into a wild and mountainous part, and there the clapper fell to the ground, at a place called Dagrinnis. He was troubled in spirit, so bleak and lonely did the place appear ; but an angel announced to him that there he was to build a cell, and there to die ; and in this spot he spent thirty years, and wrought many mii-acles, and died in the ninety-ninth year of his age.

It is difficult to clear the lives of many of the Irish Saints from the fable wherewith lively imaginations have invested them, in their oral transmission through many hundreds of
years.


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